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3 Steelers Legends Considered Likely Hall of Famers



Antonio Brown Ben Roethlisberger Steelers

The 33rd Team listed former Pittsburgh Steelers players Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown and Maurkice Pouncey in their exercise of Hall of Fame chances among retired and non-active players. Roethlisberger was a lock, while Brown and Pouncey were considered likely.

Roethlisberger is a no-brainer. He’ll be in the Hall, it’s just a matter whether he’s first-ballot. With two Super Bowl titles and ranking fifth all-time in passing yards (64,088) and eighth in touchdown passes (418), he should be a shoo-in for first-ballot. Roethlisberger also holds the NFL record for most 500-yard passing games (4) and is tied with Peyton Manning for the most career perfect passer rating games (4).

“I remember telling a well-known national columnist years ago that Ben Roethlisberger not only would reach Canton one day but would be a first-ballot choice,” Hall of Fame voter Clark Judge said. “He laughed and said it wouldn’t happen. I think it will: Roethlisberger didn’t put up a lot of gaudy numbers like some of his peers, but he won twice as many games as he lost (165-81-1) and delivered two more Lombardi Trophies to Pittsburgh. That’s good enough for me. Check, please.”

Based on his production on the football field with the Steelers, Brown was a generational talent. Simply one of the best ever. He arguably had the best six-year stretch (2013-2018) for a wide receiver in NFL history. In that span, Brown recorded 686 receptions for 9,145 yards and 67 touchdowns. That’s more total receptions than Mike Evans in his entire career, more yards than Stefon Diggs in his entire career, and more touchdowns than Julio Jones in his entire career.

There’s a separate side to Brown’s Hall of Fame trajectory, however. And it’s been well-documented. Brown has had a plethora of off-the-field issues, which most likely won’t sit well with a lot of Hall of Fame voters. Brown might also get knocked for his lack of longevity, but he’s on the NFL 2010s All-Decade Team and made seven Pro Bowls and was voted first-team All-Pro four times. He also won a Super Bowl with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020.

“If he is judged simply on statistics and impact on games, Brown will speed his way to Canton,” Judge said. “But, like Terrell Owens previously, his disruptiveness — some have called him a ‘coach killer’ could delay or prevent his entry into the Hall. He’s eligible for that year, he’ll get Hall consideration. But I don’t know that he’ll get the votes.”

Pouncey definitely has a strong case for the Hall of Fame with being on the NFL 2010s All-Decade Team, nine Pro Bowls and selected as first-team All-Pro twice, but voters are tricky when it comes to centers. There’s only nine centers in the Hall of Fame, and three of them played in the 1950s. The last center to get inducted into Canton was Kevin Mawae in 2019. Pouncey beats out Mawae in Pro Bowls 9-8, but Mawae has seven first-team All-Pro selections compared to Pouncey’s two. Mawae also played 241 career games, while Pouncey played 134. Time will tell if Pouncey gets in, but he’ll probably have to wait awhile. Longtime NFL writer Barry Wilner believes Pouncey will become the third Steelers center to have a bust in Canton, joining Mike Webster and Dermontti Dawson.

“Yet another outstanding offensive lineman of this century, as was his twin brother Mike. Maurkice continued the line of superb Steelers snappers, making the Pro Bowl nine of his 10 seasons,” Wilner said. “He wasn’t Dermontti Dawson or Mike Webster, but he was close. Close enough to be in the Hall.”

Pittsburgh already has a lot of players and contributors in the Hall of Fame. If what the 33rd Team says comes to fruition, they will add more to their already impressive repertoire of Hall of Famers in Canton, Ohio, sooner rather than later.